Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;
I wait for you all day long
The Lord is good and upright; therefore he shows sinners the way.
He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth
to those who keep his covenant and decrees.
Occasionally, my wife and I will have a disagreement. — I know…That’s crazy talk! Who ever has a disagreement with their spouse?! — But every now and then we find ourselves not seeing eye-to-eye on a given subject. Since we’re both pretty strong-willed, neither one of us is afraid of arguing our viewpoint. Usually, we are able to come to some sort of agreement without too much difficulty, but occasionally one of us will feel strongly enough that we dig in our heels and hold our ground.
I remember one time when we were having an argument and Elizabeth diagnosed my problem.
“You know what your problem is? You always think you’re right.”
Of course I do! If I thought I was wrong, I would change my opinion! If you can show me new information that I didn’t have before, or a flaw in my reasoning, I’m happy to reconsider my stance. No one intentionally gets the wrong answer. That would just be foolish.
The real problem, though, is when we don’t know what we don’t know. Ignorance is dangerous and can lead us down paths where we don’t want to go. Rather than being stubborn and opinionated, we must train ourselves to be humble and teachable. That is what the Psalmist is writing about in this passage.
Throughout Scripture, God is calling us to a higher way of living, a better way. The rules and restrictions that he places upon us are not arbitrary or capricious. They are intentionally designed to help us live the life of abundance and blessing that God desires for us. God calls us to be holy and righteous because that is the only way that we can accomplish what we were designed to do…to have fellowship with and worship God.
But holiness and righteousness do not come naturally to us. In fact, because of the distortion of sin, holiness and righteousness are the exact OPPOSITE of what comes naturally to us. So we must constantly be evaluating ourselves, adjusting our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors to fall in line with God and what he is doing in the world around us. But we can’t do that if we are not humble enough to learn his ways.
Life is hard. Making the right choice is difficult, and sometimes it feels like we’re just taking a shot in the dark. But that is not how God intends it to be. He has not left us to our own devices. He has shown us the way, through the Law, and through the example of Jesus Christ. Are we smart enough to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers and that God knows best?
Commit to living every day according to God’s ways. Seek him out and He will speak light, life, and wisdom into your day. I can’t imagine doing better than that on my own.
PRAYER: Father, thank you for your revelation to us and patient instruction while we figure things out. We acknowledge the limits of human understanding, and seek to follow your ways instead. Help us to cultivate humility and a teachable spirit at all times. In the name of Jesus we ask this, Amen.